est le premier film d'animation créé par Roger
Mainwood (né en 1953), pour les studios "Halas
& Batchelor" après ses études au
"Royal College of Art Film and TV" de Londres.
Ce film expérimental proche du design et de l'imagerie
"Psychedelic Pop" de la fin des 70's, nous présente
un personnage solitaire, à la silhouette futuriste,
protégé par de grandes lunettes miroir. Il
voyage, court, vole, virevolte, dans l'infini, au milieu
d'une myriade de créatures étranges. Ces monstres
symbolisent le trafic routier, délibérément
dépeint comme une menace. Le héros essaie
en vain de rentrer en contact avec des humains, clones de
lui-même... A la fin du film, il réalise qu'il
est prisonnier, aliéné dans un cycle journalier
répétitif, face à sa propre solitude
et que tout n'est qu'un éternel recommencement !
Ce film est une "interprétation visuelle"
très personnelle, utilisant Autobahn de Kraftwerk
en guise de fond musical ! Roger Mainwood n'est en effet
jamais rentrer en contact avec Kraftwerk. Seul John Halas
fut amené à joindre la maison de disques de
Kraftwerk, pour des questions de droit. "Autobahn"
fut également le premier film à bénéficier
de la technologie aujourd'hui défunte du Laser Disque.
Mr Roger Mainwood, i saw your film "Autobahn"
from the 70's. But some sources say that it's a movie from
1974 and others from 1979. How many version is there of
this film ?
for getting in touch, and for your interest in the little
film I was involved with back in 1979 (not 1974). "Autobahn"
was actually the first animated film I did once I had left
the Royal College of Art Film and TV school in London. I
am rather embarrassed by it now of course, but I suppose
if we can look at it as an historical curiosity then it
may still have some value ! It certainly gave me an opportunity
to learn a lot of things about animation.
What was your intention in this story, the finality of your
spaceman adventure ?
never actually had to explain in words exactly what it was
all about. There was a lot of what you might call "psychedelic
pop" imagery around at the time that to be honest never
had a great deal of actual "meaning" to it at
all, and I guess I was tapping into that. Thinking back
to my thought processes at that time, I remember wanting
to specifically not have conventional cars in the film.
I wanted a sense of a repetitive journey, and alienation,
which I took to be what the music was about,............hence
the solitary futuristic figure, protected by large goggles,
moving through and trying to connect with the journey he
is taking. The automobile "monsters" are deliberately
threatening ( I have never been a big fan of cars or motorways
! ) and when our "hero" tries to make human contact
(with different coloured clones of himself) he can never
do it. In the end he realises he is making the repetitive
and circular journey alone but strides forward purposefully
at the end as he did in the beginning . All of which sounds
rather pretentious..........but I was a young thing in those
days ! Anyway it gave me an excuse to do a lot with the
animation which I enjoyed and I think some people also have,
although I can see it could be viewed as a rather frustrating
film for anyone looking for a conventional storyline.
Did you contact the band Kraftwerk, for using their music
or not ? What was their reaction ? Did they approve your
I never made contact with Kraftwerk, and they had no input
into the film images themselves. John Halas got the commission
from Kraftwerk's record company, and it was deliberately
experimental in nature and designed to be released on one
of the first ever laser discs. Unfortunately the laser disc
technology never took off.
The film was entered into various film festivals around
the world and won a few prizes, but it never got a commercial
release in cinemas but was shown on the TV a bit in the
UK and I presume in Germany too. I have no idea what Kraftwerk
think about it or whether they have even ever seen it.
[1979 - 13 minutes]
Director : Roger Mainwood
Producer : John Halas
Script : Roger Mainwood
Animation : Roger Mainwood
Music : Kraftwerk
Camera : Peter Petronio
Awards Zagreb Festival 1980